An Aristotelian Studium
The point of departure for this Honors Philosophy sequence is the pioneering work of Aristotle, which offers a coherent system of knowledge, provides tools for inquiry that are still useful in the present day, and defines many of the "great questions" examined by subsequent philosophers.
The courses in this sequence are taught by faculty from the School of Philosophy.
- HSPH 101: The Desire to Know
- HSPH 102: Human Action and Government
- HSPH 203: Nature and Human Nature
- HSPH 204: Ultimate Questions
The Desire to Know
This course discusses the nature and function of logic in philosophical and nonphilosophical context. It teaches students the basic skills requisite for the appreciation of Aristotle's philosophy. It progresses through Aristotle's "Organon" presenting syllogistic and scientific reasoning. Exercises require evaluation and application of course materials in the contexts of philosophy, science, politics, and literature.
Human Action and Government
An introduction to moral and political philosophy with emphasis on the concepts of right reason and right action as developed in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics. Focuses on the perfection of the soul through intellectual and moral virtues and the function of these virtues in the larger human context, along with an explanation of Aristotle's praxis.
Nature and Human Nature
The key concept of the first part of the course is nature in the sense of physis or natura. Comparisons to mathematical explanations are offered by the founders of modern physics and chemistry. Psyche or anima is the focus of the second part of the course. Exploration of parallels with explanatory principles in biology, psychology, and cognitive science.
Ultimate Questions (Aristotle's Metaphysics and Aquinas' Summa Theologica)
Aristotle's Metaphysics and Aquinas' Summae Theologia provide the basis for the examination of the transition from being to a natural theology and the subsequent modern embrace of rationalism. "Ultimates" to be questioned include: Being, Truth, and the Good. Readings complemented by texts of David Hume and Immanuel Kant.